Betting + Vs. - What Do They Mean?

Introduction to American Odds

In sports betting, understanding the language of odds is crucial. American odds, characterized by "+" and "-" symbols, offer a clear indication of potential payouts and the favorites vs. underdogs in any given contest. These odds are central to the betting strategies employed by bettors across sports ranging from football to basketball, and beyond. For a comprehensive guide on sports betting basics, visit Sports Betting 101.

The Basics of "+" and "-" Odds

Understanding the odds:

  • "+" (Plus) Odds: Signify the underdog in a matchup. The figure following the "+" indicates the profit on a $100 bet. For instance, odds of +300 mean a $100 bet yields $300 in profit if successful.
  • "-" (Minus) Odds: Indicate the favorite. The figure after the "-" represents the amount needed to bet to win $100 in profit. For example, -300 odds require a $300 bet to win $100 in profit.

These symbols not only communicate the expected profitability of bets but also provide insights into the perceived likelihood of each outcome.

Calculating Payouts with American Odds

To fully grasp how payouts are determined, consider these formulas:

  • Plus Odds Payout: Payout = (Bet Amount×Odds)/100+Bet Amount
  • Minus Odds Payout: Payout = Bet Amount/(Odds/100)+Bet Amount

Real-World Examples from Professional Sports

Jumping into professional sports, let's examine how these odds translate into real betting scenarios.

Example 1: NFL Betting

Imagine an NFL game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins, where the Patriots are favored, with odds at -150, while the Dolphins are at +130. A bettor believing in the Dolphins' upset potential might place a $100 bet on them. If the Dolphins win, the payout is calculated as $230 ($130 profit plus the initial $100 bet). Conversely, betting on the Patriots requires a $150 wager to win $100 in profit, highlighting the risk-reward dynamic in betting on favorites versus underdogs.

Example 2: NBA Betting

In an NBA match between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets, with the Lakers as underdogs at +160 and the Nuggets as favorites at -180. A $100 bet on the Lakers would return $260 ($160 profit plus the original $100) if they win. To win $100 on the Nuggets, a bettor would need to risk $180. These odds reflect the bookmakers' assessments of the teams' chances and guide bettors in their decision-making.

Explore options through Responsible Gambling's Sportsbook Reviews to find a platform that suits your needs.

Where to Find American Odds

FanDuel Sportsbook
Most Popular Sportsbook in U.S.
3873
user reviews
1-5 days
withdrawal speed
1-4.7%
margin
FanDuel Sportsbook
FanDuel Bet $5 Get $200
Details
DraftKings Sportsbook
Great Choice for NFL & NBA
3814
user reviews
1-5 days
withdrawal speed
1-4.7%
margin
DraftKings Sportsbook
DraftKings No Sweat First Bet Up To $1000
Details
BetMGM Sportsbook
Great Rewards Program
3393
user reviews
1-5 days
withdrawal speed
1-4.7%
margin
BetMGM Sportsbook
BetMGM Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
Details
ESPN Bet Sportsbook
Excellent Sports Coverage
2545
user reviews
1-7 days
withdrawal speed
1-4.9%
margin
ESPN Bet Sportsbook
ESPN BET Make Any Bet Get $100
Details
Caesars Sportsbook
Excellent Rewards Program
1922
user reviews
1-5 days
withdrawal speed
1-4.7%
margin
Caesars Sportsbook
Caesars: $1000 First Bet On Us
Details

Responsible Betting Strategies and Tips

While understanding odds is foundational, successful betting also relies on strategies and best practices.

  • Research: Knowledge of team performance, player injuries, and other factors is crucial.
  • Value Betting: Identify mismatches between odds and perceived real chances of outcomes.
  • Bankroll Management: Allocate only a portion of your funds to betting to mitigate the risk of significant losses.
  • Diversification: Spread your bets across different games or types of bets to reduce risk.
  • Set Limits: Establish clear boundaries for how much time and money you can afford to spend on betting.
  • Avoid Chasing Losses: Accept losses as part of the game and resist the temptation to bet more to recover them.
  • Take Breaks: Regularly stepping away from betting can prevent it from becoming a harmful habit.
  • Seek Help if Needed: Resources like Gamblers Anonymous offer support for those who struggle with gambling.

Betting + or - FAQs

Understanding American Odds
What do "+" and "-" signs mean in betting odds?
How are payouts calculated using American odds?
Placing Bets
How do I choose the best sportsbook for placing bets?
Can I bet on multiple games at once?
Responsible Betting
How much of my bankroll should I bet at one time?
What should I do if betting stops being fun and starts feeling like a compulsion?
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Meet Our Authors

Sol Fayerman-Hansen
Sol Fayerman-Hansen
Editor-in-Chief

Sol's interest in sports was sparked at a young age, inspired by athletes such as Barry Sanders, Michael Jordan, and Wayne Gretzky. This early fascination evolved into a deep-seated passion, guiding him toward a career in sports journalism in 2007. Over the years, Sol has contributed numerous articles and reviews to various online platforms, sharing his knowledge and perspectives.

Central to Sol's approach is his dedication to honesty, especially regarding sports betting platforms. He believes in providing bettors with straightforward and detailed reviews, distinguishing his work by avoiding the often overly positive spin on bonus offers and promotions. His commitment to truthfulness has made his reviews a reliable source for those seeking authentic advice and information, thereby earning him a reputation for integrity among his readers.

“In the world of sports betting, truth is more valuable than any bonus offer.”

ExperienceYear
Content Manager, OnlineCasinoReports2012-2021
Sports Journalist, Dottraffic2009-2011
Content Writer, HouseTech2007-2009
Cristina Varela Galan
Cristina Varela Galan
Problem Gambling Expert

Cristina used to work as a Psychology Assistant in the Bizkaia Pathological and Risky Gamblers Association. She was also part of a research team in Deusto University, specializing in pathological gambling area. While working there, she managed to develop her own project 

 “Exploring the association between emotional regulation, alexithymia, stressful life events and gambling in adolescent and young adult women”.

Paruyr Shahbazyan began his business career in 2000 as a private entrepreneur. Over thirteen years, he developed a deep understanding for business and leadership, laying a solid foundation for his professional journey.

In 2013, Paruyr stepped into the sports and betting industry as the founder and president of Bookmaker Rating. This online mass media platform, which he led until 2020, focused on providing in-depth analysis and insights in sports betting, earning a reputation for its quality content. 

Continuing his innovative approach in 2022, Paruyr co-founded Azuro, a decentralized betting protocol. This venture showcases his dedication to integrating advanced technology in the evolving landscape of sports betting. Through these diverse experiences, Paruyr has continuously influenced and shaped the betting industry, driving new trends and setting high standards.

 ExperienceYear
Engaged in private entrepreneurship2000-2013
Founder and President at Bookmaker Rating, an online platform focused on sports and betting2013-2020
Co-founder at Azuro, a decentralized betting protocol2022

"Innovation in sportsbetting comes from a deep understanding of both technology and the human element of sports." 

- Paruyr Shahbazyan, Founder, RG

 

Principles and Ethics

Paruyr Shahbazyan's core beliefs lie in the power of informed decision-making and integrity in the betting industry. He understands that the foundation of successful betting is not just about odds and predictions, but also about the trust and reliability of the information provided. Paruyr advocates for a betting environment where transparency and knowledge are paramount, ensuring that bettors are well-equipped with accurate data and insights.

Strategic Vision

Paruyr's vision is to revolutionize the sports betting industry through the integration of technology. He sees the future of betting as a blend of traditional sports knowledge with innovative tech solutions, like decentralized protocols, to enhance user experience and fairness. His aim is to create platforms that are not only user-friendly but also uphold the highest standards of ethical betting, contributing to a more responsible and enjoyable betting culture.

Future Perspectives

Looking towards the future, Paruyr envisions a betting landscape that is more inclusive, technologically advanced, and globally connected. He anticipates a significant shift towards more decentralized and transparent betting systems, driven by blockchain technology. Paruyr is committed to being at the forefront of this change, continuously exploring new possibilities and innovations that can redefine what it means to engage in sports betting in a digital world. His focus is on building systems that prioritize user empowerment, fairness, and the global growth of the sports betting community.

 

Anna Kravtcova
Anna Kravtcova
Problem Gambling Expert

Ph.D. in organizational psychology, an internationally certified psychologist (EuroPsy 2022, Cognitive behavioural therapy of mindfulness 2020, International Society for Emotional Intelligence 2017, Russian Psychological society 2014, American Psychological Association(Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologist) 2011), speaker of many international conferences (USA, Brazil, Portugal, Czech Republic, Russia, etc.). TEDx speaker.

Mike Rosenberg
Mike Rosenberg
Content Writer

Mike made the decision to dive headfirst into the booming world of sports betting fresh out of college. Back in the day, when 1-800 pick lines and sports pagers were all the rage, he couldn't resist the allure, having grown up idolizing sports legends like Sweetness, MJ, and Slammin Sammy. Mike dedicated his early years to the industry, tirelessly analyzing games, writing articles with free picks, and selling his expertise on reputable handicapping sites. Unlike many others, Mike was known for his integrity and only released one Game of the Year per sport, per season. His hard work and unwavering commitment paid off, earning him a devoted following and propelling his career to new heights. Then came the explosion of Daily Fantasy Sports. Believe it or not, companies like DraftKings and FanDuel used to pay Mike's company to increase their brand exposure. Now, those same industry giants don't even bother responding to his emails. While Mike appreciates the convenience of being able to place legal bets in his own backyard, he can't help but feel disheartened by what has become of the industry. People are being led astray, falsely believing that a mere $5 wager on a 20-team same-game-parlay will be their ticket to financial security. If there’s one thing Mike learned from making book back in the day, it’s that parlays are a bookie’s best friend. A bankroll is the only leg you have to stand on in the battle with the books, and Mike’s here to offer up advice on how to protect it.